FANTASTIC Spiral will be aiming to register his second group victory within six days when he lines up in Saturday night’s Group 1 Temlee (525m) at The Meadows.
Trained in NSW by Jason Fletcher, the son of Spiral Nikita and Light Fantastic was a dominant winner of the Group 2 Launceston Cup (515m) on Monday evening, defeating a quality field to score in 29.72.
Stepping fairly from box five, the black speedster got clear galloping room in the early stages and was able to put the paw to the floor, exploding clear in the run to the first turn.
Once out in front, it was a case of times and margins with the 31.8 kilogram speed machine holding off a late challenge by Lemon Sunrise (box one) to score by three-quarters-of-a-length.
Fletcher, who stayed in Tasmania with Fantastic Spiral throughout the three week series, said he was confident his powerful speedster would perform well in the $40,000-to-the-winner feature.
“I wasn’t too concerned about the box to be honest,” Fletcher told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“Going into the race I thought it was a case of him getting a reasonable amount of luck and he would win.
“He showed a brilliant turn of foot in the run to the first corner and just accelerated away from them.
“It was a good win.”
Fantastic Spiral has now won 23 of his 42 career starts with over $200,000 in prize money earnings, with his most notable victory being in last year’s Group 1 Dapto Megastar (520m).
The ultra-consistent greyhound also finished third in the 2015 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (520m) and was a finalist in the 2015 Group 1 Topgun (525m) and the Group 3 Nowra Puppy Classic (520m).
Having returned home to his Appin based kennel, Fantastic Spiral will now enjoy a relaxing week before heading to Victoria this weekend for the Group 1 Temlee at The Meadows.
The current $3 favourite with Bet365 is the Jason Thompson-trained Dalgetty which ran a luckless fourth in the Group 2 Shepparton Cup (450m) last start.
Also in commission is the freakish Zambora Brockie ($4.20) and Hobart Thousand victor Unlawful Entry ($5), while Fantastic Spiral shares the $7 quote with Shared Equity. The next best in the market is three time group winner Above All at $10 which will need plenty of luck from box six.
Fletcher said his charge is feeling good after his vacation to the Apple Isle and is ready to tackle the big guns on Saturday night.
“He had a couple of weeks holiday in beautiful Tasmania which also served as a bit of a freshen up for him,” he said.
“Particularly for a dog like him which is over three years old and has had 40-odd starts – the bit of time away has done him the world of good.”
‘Spiral’ has drawn favourable in box two for the lucrative feature, with Fletcher rating him a good chance against a high quality field.
“Closer to the rails the better for him.
“Unfortunately he has only had boxes one or two four times out of 42 starts, but he has won every time so hopefully he can continue that trend this week.
“Dalgetty has run amazing sectionals so he will be hard to hold out in the run to the first corner, but in saying that if Spiral steps cleanly I am sure he will be more than competitive.
“He has a really big heart and a great turn of foot – those two things have seen him win more races than he loses.”
The Group 1 Temlee is one of three invitation only features being run at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Also being run and won is the Rookie Rebel (600m) and the Zoom Top (725m).
Champion Dyna Double One, which has won all three starts over the middle distance, is the $1.30 favourite with Bet365 to take out the Rookie Rebel, with Moreira ($6) and Lithgow Panther ($7) also given a chance. Norm The Storm, which had drawn box seven, has been scratched, paving the way for Jeff Britton’s Cosmic Owl to have a crack at the race from out wide.
The Zoom Top is a wide open affair following the scratchings of Ada Mary, Lady Toy and Bourbski Fever, with both reserves, Kilkee Flex and Beks, now gaining a start.
The $2.10 top pick for the staying feature is Anthony Azzopardi’s No Donuts which will be looking for his second Group 1 win after claiming the Sale Cup (650m) on Boxing Day. The son of Fabregas and Chevy Princess has drawn to perfection in box one.
In sad news, Group 1 Bold Trease (715m) winner Bourbski Fever has been retired after injuring her hock in preparation for the Zoom Top. Co-owner Jason Lyne told Australian Racing Greyhound he was thankful for the ride ‘Madam’ took him on throughout her career and that all possible measures were being undertaken to ensure she lives a full and happy life at home off the track.